HC Deb 23 March 1995 vol 257 cc317-8W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will ensure that the inquiry into the Birmingham northern relief road is based on a re-assessment of traffic models and growth forecasts; [15257]

(2) what account he has taken of the effects of congestion of the traffic model assumption in respect of the Birmingham northern relief road which assumes that for roads which are full traffic will grow at a reduced rate; [15255]

(3) on what basis traffic modellers have ignored heavy goods vehicles in respect of the Birmingham northern relief road; and if he will make a statement; [15254]

(4) what assessment he has made of the impact of an (a) untolled and (b) tolled west orbital road in respect of the Birmingham northern relief road. [15256]

Mr. Watts

These are matters for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Laurie Haynes to Ms Joan Walley, dated 23 March 1995: You asked the Secretary of State for information about the traffic modelling used for the Birmingham Northern Relief Road. We are satisfied that the traffic model uses a robust methodology and has taken account of significant changes, such as the SACTRA report, which have arisen since the draft Orders were published. The ongoing public inquiry into the proposals has received much information on traffic flows and techniques. It will be for the Inspector to form his own judgement on that evidence. The Original (February 1994) BNRR traffic forecasts assumed a tolled Western Orbital Route. The latest (November 1994) forecasts assume a WOR that will be free to motorists. The traffic impacts of these differing assumptions are contained in evidence placed before the inquiry. HGVs are not ignored in the traffic model. Tests established the most appropriate methodology for the evaluation of the BNRR proposals; this ensures the most realistic estimate of HGV routing. Details of the methodology used have been presented to the inquiry. The traffic model takes account of the capacity of the roads in the area. Reduced growth rates have been assumed for all journeys with one or both ends in the conurbation, in line with assumptions made by local highway authorities in the conurbation.

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